BTerrell Group Blog

Buffer Gives Away Everything and Reveals What's Really Important in the Process

Posted by Brian Terrell on Fri, Feb 27, 2015

Recently, I stumbled across a blog article on SaaS pricing authored by Leo Widrich, the Chief Marketing Officer of Buffer. Buffer provides social media automation by helping companies large and small schedule and measure social content publishing. In the case of Twitter, Buffer allows a social media poster to spend a short amount of time creating enough tweets to publish over a longer period of time. Posting consistently according to a schedule but at different times during the day makes sense as it can expand the audience and build engagement. Buffer makes this possible with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. And, Buffer offers pricing plans for individuals so that the tool is not just for business.


 2-27image1

 

Leo's article, published December 16, 2014, offers an interesting glimpse into the books of a SaaS startup. From this and other articles on Buffer's blog site, I gather that the company started operations in early 2011. Since then, they've grown to over $441,000 per month in recurring revenue, 184,000 monthly active users, and 30 employees. In addition to the company's open book policy on financial performance through their company blog, they have a Transparency Dashboard providing up to the minute details on key performance indicators so observers can do their own fact checking at any time.

What risk does Buffer assume by disclosing everything online - from their chart of accounts to their source code? They must think this transparency represents no real and present danger to their business model or intellectual property. I suspect they know that human beings comprise the real value in any knowledge business. The most important ingredient in Buffer's secret sauce isn't the software code but rather the folks using that IP as a tool to execute against the company's strategy. This makes sense to me, as I've noticed in our own business that even when we describe to our clients exactly how to do something, they still hire us to do the work. Decision makers just want to know a professional has the knowledge to get the job done so they can let them do it. After all, they want to spend their time serving existing customers and winning new ones - just like the rest of us. 

Knowledge represents the inventory in all service companies, and these companies don't own the means of producing that inventory. So, managing human capital means everything. We need to be good team players by creating a rewarding, purposeful, and flexible culture. We need happy places to work, and we never need to test the patience of our people by making life difficult with brutal HR processes and outdated technology! That's why we built Workforce Go! to integrate AmeriFlex Workforce and Intacct. In a world where it's not easy to manage workforce culture, we want to provide our client companies with every possible advantage in service and technology. Buffer provides not only an excellent example of a company that's "been there, done that," but also a pretty good online playbook.

To learn more about contributing to a happy workplace by enabling your workforce to self serve and automate human resource functions using Intacct and AmeriFlex Workforce, contact us.

Tags: business process, Workforce Go!

The Importance of Business Process Documentation in Mid-Market ERP Projects

Posted by Meredith Gooch on Mon, Jul 13, 2009

The contractor built my house from a plan. Toyota built my car from a plan. I’m typing on a computer built from a plan. Why not implement a mid-market ERP system from a plan?

Prospects love this idea until they hear it cannot be free. A good plan cannot be free, otherwise everyone could do it and there would be far more plans than projects. To expect either a smooth, undocumented implementation or a good, free plan is about as likely as driving on an interstate highway that is yet to be mapped out. Without a plan, every quote is just a guess and every Statement of Work is just a prayer. If one is contemplating the acquisition and implementation of a mid-market ERP program from which will come information to guide important future business decisions, then a plan is the right investment.

A good plan displays a company’s human resources and business processes on paper in chart form. The plan could be 75% graphic and 25% narrative and might cost $2,000-$7,500 or even more. However, it might provide the needed insurance against a project gone wild, and, most importantly, it will turn a guess into a quote.

- Brian Terrell, CPA and Managing Partner

Tags: document, documentation, business process, ERP, mid-market